Chad Barefoot, a Republican from Wake Forest who represents the 18th District in the North Carolina Senate, said Sunday that he will retire from the General Assembly at the end of this term.
Barefoot, who is in his third term and was elected to the Senate in 2012, made the announcement less than an hour before state lawmakers proposed a new Senate district map that proposed placing him in the same district as Republican Sen. John Alexander of Raleigh.
He is co-chairman of the Senate Education and Higher Education Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education and Higher Education.
“For my wife Paige and I, the legislature has also been such an important and integral part of our lives,” Barefoot said in a statement. “It’s where we met, and where we’ve developed lasting friendships with people who feel like family.
“But we knew when I ran for the State Senate six years ago that serving in elected office might not be something we could do for the long haul. A higher priority has always been growing and nurturing our family, and since 2012 we’ve added three beautiful children.
“As my legislative responsibilities grew over the past five years, so did my responsibilities at home. I feel now is the right time for me to focus more on being a dad than a State Senator, and so I won’t be running for re-election in 2018.”
Barefoot was author of a bill in 2013 that changed Wake County’s school board districts, turning two into regional districts that each cover about half the county. Federal judges later declared the state-drawn maps unconstitutional and directed that maps adopted by the school board in 2011 be used.
In a statement, Senate leader Phil Berger said: “In less than three terms, Sen. Barefoot has made a lasting positive impact on public education in North Carolina. He helped guide the implementation of Read to Achieve, to ensure more children are reading proficiently by the end of third grade, brought back the Teaching Fellows program, to recruit the best and brightest teachers to our classrooms, and helped expand school choice, to give families across the state more options to help their students succeed.
“We’ll miss Chad’s thoughtful leadership in the Senate, but I commend him for choosing to spend more time with his young family and wish him every success.”
Frederick: 919-829-8956. On Twitter: @Eric_Frederick